Your Excellency Madam Vice Minister, Colleague Ministers, friends present here good morning…
It is a pleasure to be here in your beautiful country and to be enjoying the warm Chinese hospitality extended to myself and colleague participants in this Seminar.
I really do feel at home.
Let me thank the Chinese Government and people and our specific host — the State Council for Information for making this study tour and exchange by Information, Media and Communication Ministers and other officials, possible.
Our meeting together in this way is not only a useful opportunity for the meaningful exchange of ideas common to our area of work on behalf our respective countries but will allow for creative solutions and further collaboration, going forward.
In the case of Jamaica and China, we have a long history of partnership having established diplomatic relations more than forty years ago, at a time of deep political division in the world.
Bearing in mind how the world has changed since 1972, and China’s current standing in the world, we can definitely see the benefits from that visionary relationship and leadership.
The establishment of diplomatic relations and Jamaica’s stated commitment to the ONE CHINA POLICY have resulted in mutually beneficial bilateral relations characterised by active, dynamic and heightened cooperation, particularly in tthe human resource, economic and cultural spheres.
China’s significant economic and technical assistance to Jamaica has been complemented by several high level official visits – our Prime Minister, the Most Hon Portia Simpson Miller last month was guest of the Government and People of China in a State Visit and His Excellency Xi Jinping visited Jamaica in 2009, in his then capacity as Vice President.
Today, China is Jamaica’s largest source of bilateral financing, much of it on a highly concessional basis and covering a wide area of interest – from training to equipment donation, financial assistance and disaster relief.
Jamaica places much value on the relations developed over the years and which continue today and we look to the strengthening of these relations given the tremendous respect and solidarity which underpins the Jamaica/China partnership since the establishment of diplomatic relations.
We see tremendous opportunities in the years ahead for both Jamaica and China, as China continues its dynamic growth path and aggressive overseas investment strategy.
China also has a media presence in Jamaica through the Xinhua News Agency. That news agency frequently covers my weekly media briefings.
This seminar will afford me the opportunity to see how your media works and to establish closer working relationships with more of them.
I know my colleagues who are here for this seminar also want to expand those relationships as we all try to foster good will and peace around the world.
As we learn about each other, politically and culturally we will have better understanding, and we will develop trust, dialogue friendship and peace.
News Media have a role to play in spreading this message and serve to help spread democracy and understanding of not only politics, matters about he economy but our culture as well.
Once again, our thanks for the opportunity and the very intensive programme that has been put in place to make the visit a pleasant and productive one